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Three-time cancer survivor is doing what he loves
App, web-based service provides lien-holder contact information
Digital Recognition Network CEO lays out company's vision
Unit designed to bring greater awareness to Move Over law
Buddy's gets farmer's tractor with corn silage in open field
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American Towman Magazine Presents the Week in TowingAugust 23 - August 29, 2017
In addressing the North American Repossessors Summit recently, Chris Metaxas, CEO of Digital Recognition Network, said DRN plans on improving the dialogue and communication between the company and repossession agents in the field scanning the license plates. Image:

DRN Commits to [b]Improved Communications

Chris Metaxas, CEO of Digital Recognition Network, laid out his company's vision for the future during a session at the recently held North American Repossessors Summit in Irving, Texas.

Metaxas abandoned the session's discussion topics and answered as many questions as he could, while being candid and honest.

"Our success is tied to your economic success," Metaxas told the audience. "All of you in this room drive the majority of DRN's revenue and are the data creation engine we need to survive. So there is no other motive than to get more revenue in your hands and ours as part of this strategy."

DRN also plans on improving the dialogue and communication between the company and its affiliates, the repossession agents out there scanning the license plates, Metaxas said. There are other plans that will open the company up to more feedback from the repossession agent community as well in the future, he added.

The overarching message was that DRN remains committed to getting auto lenders to pay for the value that the repossession industry is providing to them, at a time when many lenders are trying to cut back the fees they pay.

The company said it is on pace to help facilitate 175,000 recoveries in 2017, a 50-percent jump from two years ago. Revenue sharing with repossession agencies is also up 36 percent on a year-over-year basis.


MVTRAC Announces Recapitalization

MVTRAC, a provider of license plate recognition software and data solutions for auto financing and asset recovery agencies, announced the closing of a growth recapitalization of the company with Bison Capital Asset Management.

Bison Capital's investment will allow MVTRAC to accelerate its growth by expanding its sales and client service resources to enhance its technology suite and pursue acquisitions.

With the investment, MVTRAC Founder Scott A. Jackson will remain chairman and current president Luke Smith will become senior executive officer.

"Our management team is excited for the opportunity to partner with a supportive, forward-thinking investment firm of Bison's caliber," said Smith. "(W)e are confident that this alignment will significantly augment MVTRAC's mission to provide our customers with high-utility, innovative LPR data and technology solutions across a multitude of platforms."


Shots Fired as [b]Car Repossessed

A 24-year-old Bath, Pennsylvania, man was detained in Northampton County Prison after firing shots when a man was repossessing a vehicle Aug. 7, according to police reports.

A driver for Dons Auto was repossessing a vehicle when Michael P. McGinnis Jr. fired four to six shots from the back porch of the residence, police said.

Police created a perimeter around the home, closing nearby roads for hours, and the Pennsylvania State Police Emergency Response Team was brought in in case McGinnis was barricaded in the home, police said.

Police found out McGinnis had gone to a nearby town, where officers later found and arrested him.

No one was wounded during the shots-fired incident and there was no damage from gunfire near where the agent repossessing the vehicle stood, police said.

Shell casings were found on the back porch and in the yard of the residence, police said. A 45-cal. handgun was recovered inside the home, as was a knife with brass knuckles, police said.

McGinnis was charged with using a prohibited offensive weapon, recklessly endangering another person and disorderly conduct.


Chase Bank Sued after Repo

An Ohio County, West Virginia, man alleges that a bank failed to provide him proper notice and apply payments on an auto loan.

William P. Midcap filed a complaint on July 3 in the Ohio Circuit Court against JPMorgan Chase Bank NA alleging breach of contract, failure to apply payments and other counts.

The plaintiff alleges that on Nov. 6, 2014, he co-purchased a motor vehicle with Paula Ring, who filed for bankruptcy protection but designated vehicle as exempt property. The suit states that in October 2016, Ring obtained a discharge of bankruptcy and the plaintiff informed the defendant that he would like to resume payment through direct debit.

However, the bank alleges the defendant failed to resume payment arrangement, defaulted and accelerated the loan, and repossessed the vehicle.

The plaintiff seeks judgment against defendant for damages, interest, attorney's fees and other relief the court may find just.


NARS Raises $30,000 [b]for Benefit Fund

The ninth annual North American Repossessors Summit hosted by the American Recovery Association and sponsored by Harding Brooks Insurance, raised more than $30,000 in an auction to benefit the Recovery Agents Benefit Fund. The event was part of its recent two-day conference in Irving, Texas.

More than 600 attendees attended the event at the Omni Mandalay Hotel, which included recovery and remarketing professionals and lenders.

"We started NARS nine years ago in an effort to bring the recovery industry together," said Dave Kennedy, president of ARA. "We never imagined the success it would have today—bringing together professionals from all sides and raising thousands to benefit recovery agents in need."

The keynote speaker for the event was 9/11 hero and FDNY chief Richard Picciotto, who ended the summit on a powerful note with his detailed account of the day that altered history. Picciotto spoke to how he led thousands out of the North tower at the World Trade Center just before its collapse and how, as the last men down, he and several of his fellow firefighters were buried in the rubble for hours.


Wells Fargo Must Refund $80M

Wells Fargo & Co. said it plans to refund certain auto loan customers who may have been improperly charged for some auto insurance.

The bank said it found 570,000 customers who may have been impacted from policies placed between 2012 and 2017, and that they will receive refunds or account adjustments totaling around $80 million.

Franklin Codel, head of Wells Fargo consumer lending, said the bank takes responsibility for its failure to manage the insurance program and apologized to customers.

"Upon our discovery, we acted swiftly to discontinue the program and immediately develop a plan to make impacted customers whole," Codel said.

The "New York Times" earlier reported the problems with Wells Fargo's auto insurance, citing a report from consultant Oliver Wyman prepared for the bank examining insurance policies sold to Wells Fargo customers from January 2012 through July 2016. It found the insurance was often more expensive than auto insurance customers had already obtained on their own.

Wells Fargo said it has "gone through a comprehensive review using independent consultants" that determined "certain external vendor processes and internal controls were inadequate."

For instance, one result was that customers may have been charged premiums for this insurance even if they were paying for their own vehicle insurance. In some cases, those premiums could have contributed to a default that led to the vehicle's repossession.

The bank has begun providing refunds to some customers and will send letters and refund checks to additional customers in August. The bank said it expected to complete the refunding process by the end of the year.

The bank will refund about $25 million to around 490,000 customers who had so-called CPI placed for some or all the time they had already had appropriate insurance of their own.

It will refund $39 million to about 60,000 customers where customers didn't receive full disclosures from Wells Fargo's vendor that are required by the five states those customers are based in.

Another $16 million will be refunded to about 20,000 customers where the additional costs of this CPI insurance "contributed to a default that resulted in the repossession of their vehicle," Wells Fargo said. It added that refunds will depend on each customer's situation and will include payment "above and beyond the actual financial harm as an expression of our regret for the situation."

The bank said it will also work with credit bureaus to correct customers' credit records as applicable.

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